Read the story in Exodus 14
What Does It Mean in my Life?
The Red Sea in this story symbolizes obstacles that stand in the way of our dreams. The Lord's solutions are bigger than our thinking.
The people of Israel faced a valley of despair on the first leg of their journey. They probably left Egypt with a sense of victory in their hearts, thinking the journey to the promised land would be easy — a month or less. They were going to a promised land, a land flowing with milk and honey. And then they came to the Red Sea — a body of water that could not be crossed. The people stood still in their tracks. Added to this, Pharaoh had commanded his soldiers to follow after the Israelites and end their journey. It was an apparently hopeless situation. The Red Sea was before them, and they would drown if they continued on. Behind them, preventing retreat, was the army of Egyptians ready to slaughter them. And the people cried out to Moses that he had brought them on this journey only to die.
In our own lives, we take action to accomplish our dream, and suddenly a great obstacle stands in our way. It is not as easy as we expected; in fact, the journey seems impossible. We can feel angry at the Lord for bringing us on the journey. We see the Red Sea before us: overwhelming challenges stand in our way. And our past habits and false ways of thinking, like Pharaoh and his soldiers, come back to destroy our new efforts.
The Lord tells us to go forward in the face of apparently impossible obstacles, even when it seems we will drown in the sea that stands before us. The Lord asks us to go forward because He can see something we cannot see. He knows that when we obey His command and continue with the journey, unforeseen miracles wait for us. The Lord knows that when we take the initiative in the face of certain death, He will part the seas that stand before us.
"Going forward" is the healing power of serving others in our lives. Even a menial task — like sweeping a floor when we feel emotionally paralyzed — can refocus our lives outward so we have the strength to continue the journey. If we go forward, no matter what the obstacles that stand before us, the Lord will part the waters in our way.
The words "go forward" touch our faith and trust in the Lord. We need to believe that miracles can take place in relationships and in life. The sea that stands in our way does not part until we begin walking toward it. This is trust in the face of death. If we feel that we are going to part the seas ourselves, we will find it to be impossible. The Lord’s actions in our lives can seem impossible from our finite perspective. We come to places where our only response to continuing the journey is, "That’s impossible," and that realization can be a key moment for us. Impossibilities are the Lord’s forte. It is only when we truly give up knowing how the Lord will do it that we finally let Him do His part and move us forward on our spiritual path.
Excerpted from Journey to Freedom spiritual growth program — Week 3